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Grants available for home ‘TLC’ projects

Although the area seems to be in the grip if a never ending winter, spring is coming and it’s time to think about outside home improvement projects. For some, recent cold temperatures and howling winds have made new windows and doors a top priority. For others, a fresh coat of paint is in order. Whatever the awaiting the improvement task, the Neighborhood Revitalization Project may be able to help. 

Funded by the City of Two Harbors and Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the project’s goal is to make exterior home improvements possible for city residents through mini-grants of up to $500. The grants will be administered by the Two Harbors HRA.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said THHRA secretary- treasurer, George Scheidt, “it’s going to help about 29 households.” The actual number of grants will depend on how many proposed projects require the full $500.

Unlike some grant programs, the NRP funds are open to any property owner regardless of income and no project is too small. Renters may also apply for a grant with their landlords’ permission.

Scheidt said that residents can use the money for a wide range of improvements, but the fix-ups must be to the actual dwelling, not to the yard or outbuildings. Also, the funding is for the purchase of needed items such as paint, caulking, windows and doors, for example, but cannot be used to cover labor costs.

There is an application process, a pre- and post-project inspection to ensure that the money is being utilized for its intended purpose, but few restrictions, said Scheidt. The work must be completed in a timely fashion and residents will be reimbursed based on the receipts provided to the NRP project coordinator, up to $500. It’s a win/win for residents and the community. Even small projects can improve energy efficiency or add to the beauty of home sweet home.

Scheidt said it’s “a little TLC” for houses in the city.

Applications will be available March 10 at the Two Harbors HRA office at 505 First Avenue. Call 834-2728 for more information.